(Winston-Salem) Elisabeth Motsinger has called on her Congressional opponent to explain why she co-sponsored a bill that would gut welfare work requirements, while simultaneously criticizing President Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services for welfare reforms that she mistakenly claims would do the same thing.
Virginia Foxx co-sponsored HR 118, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act, which would allow states to combine moneys from state-federal employment and training funds into a single fund. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the nonpartisan analysis arm of Congress, the bill would nullify federal eligibility requirements for those programs, including the work requirement.
“I am confused why Mrs. Foxx puts forth a bill that directly contradicts her criticisms of the president,” Motsinger said. “Citizens back here in the district have the right to an explanation.” Motsinger is running to unseat Foxx in North Carolina’s 5th District.
In a press release issued Thursday, Foxx praised the bill, which was passed by the Education and Workforce Committee. Foxx said the committee “did what we had to do today to protect successful welfare reforms from being gutted by the Obama Administration.” She also asserted that “H.J. Res. 118 will preserve federal work requirements for welfare programs from being dismantled by President Obama’s Health and Human Services Department.”
But nonpartisan analysts disagree. According to the CSR, the bill would allow states to consolidate several programs affiliated with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) into one fund — the Workforce Investment Fund. “TANF program requirements (e.g., work requirements) may no longer apply to that portion of funding because the TANF funding would not exist,” the CSR stated in a memo released in June.
Another group, the Center for Law and Social Policy, also advised the House Education and Workforce committee that the Workforce Improvement Investment Act would eliminate many of the requirements and mandates currently in place for the various assistance programs.
Motsinger expressed concern that Foxx is overzealous in her attempts to gut and de-federalize safety net programs, at the expense of people. “Citizens deserve careful, thoughtful policy decisions that support families and are fiscally responsible,” Motsinger said. “This bill does not serve the best interests of the people of the 5th District.”
Motsinger added that HR 118 is an example of the hyper-partisan politics that has led to record-low approval ratings for Congress. “My opponent supports what the party mandates, with little regard for North Carolinians,” she said. “Her sponsorship of this bill is further proof that it is time for her to go home.”
Elisabeth Motsinger is a physician assistant and a twice-elected member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education. She completed her medical training at Wake Forest University, where she is completing a master’s degree in bioethics. Motsinger is the mother of three grown children. She and her husband, John, live in Walkertown and own property on the Motsinger family Christmas tree farm in Alleghany County. They are active in their church community. In May, Motsinger won the Democratic primary with 70 percent of the vote. For more information, visit http://www.nc5th.us. Donate to her campaign at